Town Board Meeting and Retreat: January 27, 20209 min read
Hi neighbors! In Monday night’s Town Board Meeting and Retreat, we heard a year end recap from our economic development consultant, approved an agreement with Verizon to install a macro facility at Community Park in order to improve cell service in Superior, heard an update on the digital and in-person engagement for 1500 Coalton Road, and conducted a Board Retreat to discuss our 2020 priorities and initiatives. Ready to find out more on what happened? As usual, you may read this post in written form, or scroll to the bottom for a video recap.
Disclaimer: While I do my best to represent an honest and accurate portrayal of meetings and events, the following should be considered an editorial that represents one person’s interpretation of the meetings. At the request of my fellow Board members, I am keeping their points anonymous rather than trying to attribute my interpretation to them personally. For the most unbiased and complete information, I would encourage residents to watch the meeting video itself and draw their own conclusions – visit the town website at SuperiorColorado.gov for the official meeting video and meeting minutes. Finally, I’d also encourage you to check out EngagedCitizens.us, which is a fantastic free tool created by one of our own residents. Engaged Citizens includes a repository of agendas, documents, and meeting videos, and allows you to search within a video to jump to critical parts. I hope you find it as helpful as I do!
Item 2D – Public Comment
After the pledge of allegiance and roll call, Monday’s Board Meeting kicked off with public comment. Resident Brad Walker raised concerns with comments of some Board members to target the noisiest planes, and emphasized that he believes the only way forward is to work in cooperation with the pilot community / RMMA to introduce voluntary procedures that will reduce noise. Mr. Walker said that he believes the airport and its employees deserve accolades for the voluntary measures they have already introduced.
Item 2F – Presentation – Economic Development Update
Our economic development consultant, Adam Hughes with Better City, opened by presenting an entrepreneurship certificate to Ryder Matz, a Superior youth who recently won a YouthBiz Star Award for his business, Ryder’s Riches LLC. Ryder owns a traveling gumball machine that frequents shops and restaurants in the 80027, and he donates 20% of his profits to charity. You can watch a video about Ryder’s business and award here.
Next, Mr. Hughes reviewed our economic development progress this year against nine tasks; these included:
- Superior Marketplace Recruitment and Redevelopment – outreach to 42 entertainment destination businesses
- Hotel Recruitment – outreach to developers and hotel franchises
- Office & Service Firm Recruitment – cluster / workforce analysis (identifying talent pools / skills), outreach to 444 office-based businesses and four coworking space providers
- Food & Beverage Recruitment – outreach to food hall operators and craft beverage businesses
- Coalton Road Popup Retail & Community – outreach to business retailers / accelerators
- Existing Businesses – interviews with local stakeholders / Chamber of Commerce
- See Source Market Advisory Reports and Retail Analysis – provision of monthly reports on demographics and local market trends, and statistical analysis of vacancies compared to other municipalities
A member of the Board asked what else we ought to be doing that we haven’t yet. Mr. Hughes says he thinks placemaking and fostering entrepreneurship are key; he thinks the acquisition of 1500 Coalton Road will help revitalize that corridor. Mr. Hughes also said that he thinks there is a lot of talent in Superior, and we need to leverage that to build the brand of the town – noting that it might be worthwhile to either hire a firm or create a citizen committee to focus on this. I asked Mr. Hughes a few follow up questions on our reputation: are we known as a business-friendly community, and are things like our high sales tax rate a concern? Mr. Hughes said that rental rates and sales tax rates are certainly topics of discussion, but that businesses do expect to pay a premium to be here because of our high median incomes and our talented workforce.
Item 3 – Advisory Committee Interviews
Next, the Board conducted an interview with resident David Weingarden to potentially fill an open position on the Cultural Arts and Public Spaces (CAPS) Committee. I was really impressed by Mr. Weingarden’s experience in the music industry and passion for bringing musical events to Superior, and was also very happy that he’s already attended a CAPS meeting to learn more about the committee and introduce himself. As I’ve stated previously, this for me is a firm requirement to earn an appointment.
Item 4 – Consent Agenda
Next, our Board unanimously passed the entire consent agenda – including meeting minutes; appointment of Stephan Sain to the Advisory Committee for Environmental Sustainability (ACES) and Rainer Kunz to the Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC); an agreement with J&T Consulting for engineering services, agreements with Superior Maintenance, Brennan Sand, and Naranjo Constructors for on-call and emergency repair services; a 2% raise for the Town Manager; an intergovernmental agreement with Boulder County to support the Boulder Area Mobile Trails App; and selection of Trustee Sandie Hammerly to preside over the February 10 meeting (in the planned absence of our Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem).
Agenda item 4C, acceptance of Committee Work Plans was deferred to our February 10th meeting, so that our Board could bring in representatives from each Advisory Committee to present these work plans for input / discussion.
Agenda item 4I, an agreement with Goodland Construction for pre-construction services for the 88th Street Improvement project, was pulled for discussion. While for many construction contracts, we seek individual bids, in this case, we were considering committing to a Construction Manager/ General Contractor delivery model – where Goodland would work collaboratively with Town Staff to develop the project scope, optimize the design, improve quality, schedule the work, and manage the cost. A few members of the Board expressed concerns that we’d lose our negotiating power with this approach, but on the other hand, this gives us more certainty that we’ll be able to complete the project on time – which is paramount given the criticality of 88th Street to our residents. The Board voted unanimously to approve this agreement.
Item 5 – Verizon Wireless Macro Facility at Community Park
Last year, the Board signed an agreement with Verizon to establish a process to improve cell service; since then, Verizon has been conducting analysis of our town’s cell service and determined that the best way to improve service would be to install a macro facility at Scanlon Field at Community Park – this would include a new 100′ antenna light pole (replacing an existing 81′ regular light pole) and a 20′ x 9′ equipment platform surrounded by an 8′ privacy fence, plus some underground utility work. As an interesting data point, 52% of U.S. households are wireless-only (no landline), and data use has increased 238% in the last two years – so there is clearly a growing need to eliminate the coverage issues.
Representatives from Verizon shared coverage maps before and after the proposed macro facility:
As you can see, coverage within Superior would improve dramatically with the installation of the Community Park facility. However, there would still be some marginal service areas in the far north and south of Rock Creek. Although not part of this application process and subject to change, Verizon has initiated XCel Energy’s review process to place small cell equipment at McCaslin / Coal Creek Drive; McCaslin / Christenson; Rock Creek Parkway / Indiana; and 88th / Shamrock. I raised the issue that none of these locations would help the large zone south of Coalton that still doesn’t have improved service, and Verizon representative Andrew Lowell (of the network team) said he would follow up with me after the meeting on this concern.
There was a split vote, but Mayor Clint Folsom, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis, Trustee Ken Lish, and myself (Trustee Laura Skladzinski) voted to approve the macro facility and improve cellular service; Trustees Kevin Ryan, Neal Shah, and Sandie Hammerly were opposed. The facility was ultimately approved, and should open this spring.
Item 6 – Update on 1500 Coalton Road Community Engagement
Finally, our Board received an update from Downtown Colorado, Inc, on the digital and in-person engagement around designs for 1500 Coalton Road. The digital engagement was open from January 13th to 22nd and had 317 responses; open houses were held on January 16th and 19th and had a combined 130 participants. I had the opportunity to take the survey and also attend an open house, and while the survey had its challenges (like the images being hard to see), I thought the open house was very well-organized to solicit creative ideas and gather feedback. Downtown Colorado summarized the results here, and I’d encourage you to read through the report here, and email your further feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Item 7 – Reports
We kept the Board reports short in order to move on to our Board Retreat (already 40 minutes late), but I mentioned that I’ve recently been reviewing results of the survey to assess my performance as a board member. I’ve been disappointed that while our Board completes formal performance reviews of our Town Manager and Town Attorney, we do not have a mechanism to solicit feedback for our own performance. In lieu of that, I’ve released my own survey to help me evaluate my strengths and weaknesses, and also assess progress against my goals of promoting smart development, fiscal responsibility, and transparent communications. If you haven’t already done so, I would greatly appreciate it if you could spend five minutes of your time completing an evaluation of my leadership here – I look forward to hearing from you!
Item 7 – Board Retreat
We closed the night with our Q1 Board Retreat. Topics discussed include:
- 2020 Board priorities
- Home Rule
- Agenda item discussions (segmenting Board discussions by topic rather than by person)
- Potential creation of a Finance sub-committee of the Board
- Parameters for decisions made by the Transportation & Safety Committee (should decisions to take action be made by staff, TSC, or Town Board?)
- Committee appointment process (moving to quarterly appointments rather than as individual applications come in)
- Affordable housing opportunities
- Keeping pools open year-round
- Establishing a goal to get all Town facilities powered by renewable energy
- Increasing Board member compensation
Thank you so much for taking the time to read / listen to this recap – I hope it is helpful! Our Board is always open to hearing your comments, questions, and concerns – you may always email your feedback to email@example.com, or to me specifically at firstname.lastname@example.org. As a reminder, any messages sent to a government email are part of the public record and will have your name attached; if you feel the need to write in anonymously, you may always comment at the bottom of my blog post recaps.